Tag Archives: falmer

Christmas Nature Photography Outing

I’ve been dealing with other matters recently, but I was back out with the camera today. It was a Nature Photography trip, one of the annual Christmas events arranged at work. A small group of us went up to Falmer Pond… always a relatively safe location for being certain of having something to photograph. And I have to say that the local inhabitants did us proud. As did the weather which started overcast, but gradually brightened up over the hour into a fine winter day.

The star for me is always the cormorant, and while he wasn’t being terribly active he provided a few nice shots as he rested on the small island in the centre of the pond.

Cormorant at Falmer Pond, East Sussex

Cormorant at Falmer Pond, East Sussex

Cormorant at Falmer Pond, East Sussex

Being Sussex there are the inevitable herring gulls. This one is a juvenile coming in to land on the water.

Juvenile herring gull at Falmer Pond, East Sussex

Another regular is this greylag goose, one of the small number who remain at the pond all year round (we have quite a lot migrant greylags in the summer).

Greylag goose at Falmer Pond

It can’t really be a Christmas photo shoot without a robin, and sure enough several were around and happy to pose.

Robin

The final sequence is the local heron, who excelled itself by eventually agreeing to perch on the No Fishing sign.

Heron on No Fishing sign at Falmer Pond, East Sussex

Heron on No Fishing sign at Falmer Pond, East Sussex

Heron on No Fishing sign at Falmer Pond, East Sussex

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.

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Some Falmer Friends

Over the last couple of days I’ve been back over at Falmer for work and taken the opportunity to look around some old haunts. The pond is still thriving, and despite the best and persistent efforts of the local council I don’t think they will ever completely eliminate these little creatures. They are certainly fewer in number (and there is much less feeding going on), but they are the great survivors.

Rat at Falmer Pond

Rat at Falmer Pond

I also spotted this cute little chiffchaff flitting among the branches over the pond.

Chiffchaff at Falmer Pond

Chiffchaff at Falmer Pond

And a fine looking young moorhen. This is undoubtedly their most elegant phase.

Young moorhen

Young moorhen

Those were all taken at the pond, but the campus wildlife is also thriving and I spent a good while watching this green woodpecker through a window before I had the chance to go outside to grab a quick photo.

Green Woodpecker at , University of Brighton Falmer campus

Green Woodpecker at University of Brighton Falmer campus

Lastly I’ll include a fox from tonight. He’s now waiting for me when I go outside, though the distance game continues in an increasingly pointless way. He insists I back off 10 metres before he comes out, but then lets me get to about half that distance. When he gets fed up with me he hides behind a bush. I retreat, he emerges, I approach… and we’re fine again for a few minutes. Repeat! Anyway, this was when he was waiting for the games to begin.

Fox waiting in the garden

Fox waiting in the garden

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens apart from the fox which was taken with the EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens. The flash unit is the 430EX II (which has just repalced my vanilla 430EX which has finally given up the ghost.

Posted in Birds, Foxes, rats, water birds Also tagged , , , , |

Sunny Day at Falmer Pond

More sunshine today, though I didn’t have long to enjoy it. Still, it was a pleasure not to be dodging rain and there were some nice images among the few photos I had time to take.

In this first one a moorhen investigates the No Fishing sign.

Moorhen and No Fishing sign

And here’s a simple portrait shot of one of its kin, on the glassy still water. Not only no rain, but no wind. 🙂

Moorhen on still pond

The gulls were largely absent, so it was relatively quiet as well; until some noisy ducks flew in over the village.

Trio of ducks flying past village cottage

Duck landing in pond

It took some searching out, but I eventually also found one of the local rats. It had eluded me at first as it was sitting several feet above the water, resting in the fine branches of an overhanging tree.

Rat in tree above Falmer Pond

Rat in tree above Falmer Pond

Rat in tree above Falmer Pond

Back home, Pretty’s mange treatment seems to be having some effect. She’s still scratching at her coat, but much less intensely than before. She is probably now the most consistent of all the fox visitors we’ve had in about 9 years of watching them. There’s barely been a week when she hasn’t appeared, and generally she shows up several times a day.

Fox scratching

Fox not scratching

Camera note: all daytime photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens. The fox photos are with the EF 100mm f/2.8L macro IS USM lens.

Posted in Foxes, mange, rats, water birds Also tagged , , , , |